This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
‘If the parts are possible, so also is the whole: and if the whole of anything, so are the parts, as a general rule: for if slit in front, toe-piece, and upper-leather, are capable of being made, then also shoes can be made; and if shoes, then front-slit, toe-piece, and upper-leather’. A whole implies its parts, and the parts a whole. Whole and part are relative terms: neither of them can stand alone, nor has any meaning except in reference to its correlative: hence of course the possibility of the one necessarily implies the possibility of the other. ὅλον λέγεται οὗ μηθὲν ἄπεστι μέρος ἐξ ὧν λέγεται ὅλον φύσει, Metaph. Δ 26, 1023 b 26. Ib. c. 2, 1013 b 22, the whole is said to be τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι, the λόγος or formal cause of a thing, that which makes the combination of parts what it was to be, viz. a whole, and therefore of course inseparable from it. The qualification, ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολύ, of the universal possibility of the divisibility of a whole into its parts, seems to be introduced to meet the objection which might arise from the existence or conception of ἀδιαίρετα, such as a geometrical point, or an atom, or the human soul, or Parmenides' ‘one’, οὖλον, μουνογενές,...ἓν ξυνεχές [Ritter and Preller, Hist. Phil. § 145]. Of the parts of a shoe here mentioned we have absolutely no information either in ancient or modern authorities. The explanation of the word πρόσχισμα, given by Photius, who refers to Aristophanes for an example of it, εἶδος ὑποδήματος; and by Hesychius, the same words with the addition of ἐσχισμένον ἐκ τοῦ ἔμπροσθεν, and Pollux—will not apply here at all events, nor to Ar. Probl. XXX 8, ὑπόδημα ἐκ προσχίσματος, where it is plainly, as here, a part of the shoe, and not the whole—though it is probable enough that Aristophanes in the passage referred to by Photius may have meant it by ὑπόδηματος εἶδος: and κεφαλίς and χιτών are passed over in total silence: they appear in none of the dictionaries of antiquity that I am acquainted with, nor are the ordinary Lexicons more instructive. We are left therefore to conjecture as to the precise meaning of them, but I think the consideration of the words themselves will help us at least to understand what they represent. πρόσχισμα is ‘a slit in front’ of the shoe, with which Aristotle's use of the word in the Problem above quoted exactly agrees. This I think is fully confirmed by a drawing of a ὑπόδημα in Becker's Charicles, p. 448 (Transl. ed. 2), which is a facsimile of a modern half-boot laced up in front. The πρόσχισμα is the slit down the front, which when the shoe is worn has to be laced up. This seems pretty certain; but of κεφαλίς I can only conjecture from the name, that it is a head-piece, or cap, covering the toes, and distinguishing this kind of shoe from those in which the toes were left uncovered, which seems to have been the usual fashion. χιτών—guided by a very common use of the word, which extends it from a covering of the body to any covering whatsoever (in Rost and Palm's Lexicon, s. v. No. 2, Vol. II. p. 2466)—I have supposed to mean the upper leather, the object of which, just like that of the tunic or coat, is to protect or cover the upper part of the foot, and keep out the cold. Stephens' Lexicon referring to this passage translates κεφαλίς tegumentum capitis! Xen. Cyrop. VIII 2. 5, (where σχίζων and χιτῶνας are used in connexion with shoes,) and Schneider's note, throw no additional light upon the exact meaning of these three words.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.